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WVNCC effectively navigates Covid-19 Delta variant to keep campuses safe

Posted 09/28/21

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West Virginia Northern Community College (WVNCC) is presently six weeks into its fall semester with new COVID testing and/or vaccination expectations for anyone on campus. The College is pleased to report that the vaccination rate among Northern employees exceeds 85 percent.

“I applaud all our students and employees for doing what it takes to protect themselves, each other, and our campuses from this deadly Delta variant,” commented WVNCC President Dr. Daniel Mosser. “Our number one goal is student and employee health and safety. We want to keep our community safe while also being able to hold in-person classes on all three of our campuses. Everyone has been extraordinarily patient, understanding, and protective of each other. Our low infection rate is a testament to everyone’s cooperation and commitment to keeping the college open.”

WVNCC dropped its indoor mask mandate back on July 1, but as the fall semester grew near and the Delta variant became widespread, the College’s Covid-19 Task Force reinstated the indoor mask mandate and asked all students and employees to either get tested every two weeks or, preferably, get vaccinated. Student adherence to the new Covid-19 guidelines has been over 99 percent.

“I’ve never been more proud of the hard work it took from our students and employees to ensure that our campus community understood these new expectations and to hold each other accountable,” added Mosser. “We had some very difficult conversations, but ultimately our students and our campuses have remained safe.”

The College worked with local health departments and pharmacies in New Martinsville, Weirton, and Wheeling to make free testing and vaccination options available.  Each campus also offered a vaccination clinic this past summer.

WVNCC did not experience its first reported case of Covid-19 until October 29, 2020. This fall semester, WVNCC has experienced just nine reported infections, to date, from what officials assume to be the Delta variant. The College also formed internal contact tracing teams to track cases, head-off outbreaks, and provide students and employees with advice and resources to properly navigate quarantines and combat the pandemic.

Northern has also distributed over $940,000 of Higher Education Emergency Relief Funds (HERF) directly to its students from the U.S. Department of Education and the Office of Postsecondary Education. The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, was passed by Congress to aid those who were negatively impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic, which included college students.